Skagway’s dog bus is an internet sensation

Nine dogs sitting in the snow.
Mo Mountain Mutts’ dogs in snow. (Mo Thompson photo)

Skagway is home to an internet sensation — a wife-and-husband dog-walking team that makes videos of their daily routines. On New Year’s Eve they hit the lofty benchmark of over 1 million social media followers.

They call themselves Mo Mountain Mutts, and the videos they make of their operation have gone from viral posts to national news. Based in Skagway, Mo Thompson started small, taking friends’ dogs out on walks during lunch breaks from her job.

“I started working with some teachers at the school. And it just kind of was a ripple effect of ‘Hey, I heard you’re really good with dogs. Can you help me? Hey, I heard you’re really good with dogs. Can you help me?’ And then I needed a second pack walk because I started grouping dogs together by their personalities. So we had our morning crew and our afternoon crew. Then it just grew to the point where I needed some help from Lee,” said Thompson.

Four derpy dogs strapped into bus seats.
Dogs on the puppy bus. (Mo Thompson photo)

Lee is her husband. The couple has an 8-month-old boy named Vern who also goes on walks every day, unless the weather is too cold. Mo says she loves those days, too.

“We usually have everything to ourselves. Nobody’s usually outside. And we can play the in and the out game. I usually leave my vehicle running and the dogs can kind of come and go and warm their little toes up in their seat and come back out,” said Thompson.

The couple bought a passenger bus from a local business last winter, but their passengers are all dogs.

“Lee and I together are just a couple of goofballs. So Lee just started pointing the camera at me or he would have a silly idea on the bus. And that’s really what went viral,” said Thompson.

They hit a million TikTok subscribers on New Year’s Eve, so they popped some champagne and a new bag of treats for their dogs.

One video has captured more attention than the others. It’s received over 45 million views on TikTok alone.

@mo_mountain_mutts You guys asked to see the dogs getting on the bus #foryou #dogs #puppybus #alaska ♬ original sound – Mo_Mountain_Mutts

“That’s the dogs getting on the bus. It’s like, Jake, he walks in and gets in his own seat. Amaru’s outside sitting on the curb waiting for the bus. Bama just gets in lets the dog sniff her mingles back to her seat and then Slade just comes like flying on jumps in his seat, and starts making out with Otis,” said Thompson.

People have started making fan edits and placing themselves on the bus. They both admit how lucky they are to do something they love for a living.

“I look in the rearview mirror of the bus as I’m driving sometimes. And I see all the dogs back there. And I can’t believe we do this for a living,” he said.

The couple operates their puppy bus year-round and doesn’t plan to expand operations. But they do hope to make a bit of extra money through Tik Tok and expand into monetizing YouTube videos. Mo is also hosting web-based training sessions.

They’ve recently done a national interview with CNN and were contacted by the Rachel Ray Show.

KHNS - Haines

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